Rocket Salad with Penne and Parmesan | Arugula Salad with Penne

Pasta salads are wonderful, don’t you think? Talking with my Italian Providore the other day, she wondered aloud why she and her staff didn’t bring them to work for lunch, instead of their usual sandwiches. And her question is a good one. This salad makes a perfect lunch time dish, an afternoon snack or a dinner accompaniment.

The trick with this salad is to make it a Rocket Salad with Penne, not a Penne Salad with Rocket. So the salad is heavy on rocket and light on penne. Mix it up if you wish, it would also be wonderful with different ratios, but if you are wanting your greens, I recommend trying it this way.

This is another Bittman Salad. After 3 years, we are nearly at the end of working our way through his 101 salads, making all of those that were vegetarian and modifying those that are not. There are about 13 more salads to make, and that feels so close to the end of our journey with Mark. But we shall be a little sad as we make the last one.

You might like to try other Bittman Salads. Try Roasted Sweetcorn and Avocado Salad, Fennel, Tomato and Potato Salad with Garlicky Mayonnaise, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, and Charred Tomato Salad with Mint and Lime. There are many, many more to come, in the queue to be published in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Or some other Pasta Salads? Try Light Pasta Salads, and Orzo Pasta with Spinach and Pinenuts.

Browse all of our Bittman Salads here (we have more in the queue for publishing over the coming months), and all of our Pasta Salads here. Explore all of our Pasta dishes (not just salads), and our Rocket recipes. Or simply browse our Early Winter dishes.

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Fettuccine con Cacio e Pepe | Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper

Simple is great, yes? Less is more. In this pasta dish, as with many others, it is the simplicity that shines and makes for a spectacular dish.

I have made it here with some home made eggless pasta that combines flour, semolina flour and chickpea flour and uses ground sesame seeds as a binding agent. It is pretty good, but of course this recipe can be made with any fettuccine or spaghetti.

Are you looking for Pasta dishes? Try Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Simple Pasta with Chilli and Olive Oil, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce. Don’t forget that home made eggless pasta.

Or perhaps you are after Italian fare? Try Risotto with Mushrooms, White Bean Soup and Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella.

You can browse all of our pasta dishes here, and all of our Italian recipes here. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.

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Rice and Orzo

Orzo is petty good, don’t you agree? This little rice-shaped pasta has an elegance that eludes other pastas. I was delighted to find another way to cook this star in Jerusalem, the cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.

Rice is a staple of many of the communities of the Middle East and features in quite complex dishes as well as very simple ones. Quite often, other ingredients like chickpeas, vermicelli, potatoes, lentils and nuts are are cooked with the rice.

Spices are also used, for example the Bucharan Jews in Jerusalem use ginger, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon with mint, raisins and peas. How delicious!

In this recipe, the usual vermicelli is replaced by Ottolenghi and Tamimi by orzo. Don’t confuse this orzo with the Greek barley – it is the Italian pasta version. You can use vermicelli if you like, just don’t fry them as long as they will burn.

Are you looking for other Orzo recipes? Try Elegant Orzo Salad.

Perhaps you are looking for mixed rice dishes. Try Zucchini Rice, Mango Rice, and Pepper Rice.

We have several Middle Eastern Recipes to try. Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, and Beautiful Hummus.

Are you looking for more? Explore our Ottolenghi recipes, all of our Orzo dishes, our Rice recipes, and all of our Middle Eastern dishes. Or simply spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto

Using up the amount of zucchini from our garden takes some creativity. But having made Parsley Pesto, the thought of pasta, pesto and char grilled zucchini had me grilling tiny zucchini slices early one morning. A pasta lunch was in the making.

Its very easy, and any pasta can be used – spaghetti is great, but I chose to use pasta from the local Adelaide makers L’Abruzzese. I love this olive leaf pasta, tasty and slightly chewy, it has 3 colours – spinach, beetroot and regular.

If you are looking for more pasta recipes try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato, and Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts. And check out our home made eggless pasta.

You might also like to read Why we Cook Pasta al dente.

Or perhaps some zucchini recipes – try Zucchini Rice, Zucchini Fry, and Poached with Other Vegetables in Wine.

Our pesto recipes include this Parsley Pesto as well as Asparagus Pesto, Coriander Pesto, and a mix and match approach.

Or browse all of our Zucchini Recipes, all of our Pasta Dishes, all of the Pesto recipes. Our Italian Recipes are here, or simply browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

You should check out our home made eggless pasta too.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

You might also like our Pesto recipes here and here. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here and here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato

This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish.

Often a pasta dish is my go-to Saturday or Sunday night fare. With a friend from a good Italian commercial pasta making family, we are never short of good pasta. This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish. Use a great spaghetti, a thick one if you can, or thin if you cannot. Pasta shells work well also.

You might like to read Pasta with Soul – how long to cook pasta. Similar dishes include Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, Pasta Aglio e Olio, and Pasta with Tomato and Basil. Explore our other Pasta recipes here and here.

Feel free to browse our Eggplant recipes here and here.  We have some Italian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Light Pasta or Couscous Lunches | Pasta or Couscous Salads

Do you still make as many pasta dishes as you used to? Somehow it has fallen out of fashion somewhat. Rather than the regular pasta night each week, it seems that pasta is more a once-a-month dish. And the fall-back pasta types are spaghetti – thick or thin – or fettuccine. Recently, at an Italian restaurant, I had an amazing macaroni dish and yet I can’t recall the last time I had macaroni. Not even a mac and cheese!

Coincidentally I now have an amazing Italian providore close by, one that holds an amazing array of different pastas, which I vow to explore one by one.

Rather than a hearty evening pasta supper, we have been eating pasta salads – they are so fresh and light, so very appealing, so perfect for Spring and Summer weather. Herbs are growing in the garden after the winter cold – chives, basil, parsley, spring onions (scallions). There are chillies too and Thai basil. Lots of salad type greens that can stand up to a little pasta – baby spinach, rocket, lettuce varieties.

Would you like similar dishes? Try Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pinenuts, Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad, and Rocket and Penne Salad.

Enjoy our other pasta recipes and other Couscous dishes. Take some time to browse our Salads too. Our Italian recipes are also here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce

Secrets from an Italian Kitchen

I have been reading the book The Everlasting Meal . The thing about The Everlasting Meal is that it has me thinking a lot about my approach to the kitchen. It resonates a lot. Yet, Tamar discusses a very Mediterranean-Italian approach to food so there are differences. I have been discussing her book with my Italian friends, and discovering more and more secrets. Like this one — and it amazes me that this is not general knowledge in Australia, given that we have adopted so much of the Italian approach to food here. Italian in Australia is like Indian in the UK.

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Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce

How do we love tomatoes? Let me count the ways. We do eat them raw, of course, especially in the occasional tomato salad, and we love Tomato  and avocado sandwiches on thick slices of the freshest bread, or tomato and pomegranate salad, and tomato tossed through hot spaghetti with a chilli and some olive oil. But best of all we love the transformation that occurs when juicy Autumn tomatoes are cooked.

Recently, I have been oven baking them into a wonderful sauce for pasta, for stirring through a vegetable hot pot, or for baking beans a la Tuscan Baked Beans (but use the juicy baked tomatoes instead of water). They are also great in curries – use them instead of fresh tomatoes when cooking Indian dishes. Blitz the tomatoes into a soup. The juicy roasted sauce can also be frozen for use in some later dish.

If you are looking for more pasta recipes try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce.

You might also like to read Why we Cook Pasta al dente.

You might like to browse all of our Pasta dishes and all of our Tomato recipes. Find inspiration in our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts

A wonderful salad

A spinachy and great dish shared recently with a friend was a beautiful orzo salad. In this recipe, the orzo we are using is a Greek, rice-shaped pasta, similar to the Italian Risoni. Don’t confuse it with the Italian orzo, which is barley.

You might like to browse our other Salad recipes here and here, and Spinach Salads here. Our Pasta recipes are here and here. Or explore the Spinach recipes here and here.

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Pasta all’ Aglio e Olio | The Simplest of Spaghetti Dishes

It must be the simplest dish in the world.

Sometimes the simplest is just the best way of cooking and eating a dish. Elizabeth David, for example, was a great proponent of that style. And it is in the simplest of dishes that we train our palate, noticing slight nuanced differences in taste between, say, this olive oil with that pasta, or a different pasta. Or a different olive oil. I read about a cooking school once where they spend 3 weeks just on potatoes, so that the subtleties of the tastes variations became familiar to the students.

This recipe is the simplest of pasta recipes, and one that you will want to make often. There are no quantities given, you can alter them until you find the ratios that work best for your pasta and your olive oil.

Different versions of this can be found all over Italy – it is a dish that most families enjoy at least once a week – often it is a Monday night supper. We make it with spaghetti.

Are you looking for Pasta recipes? Try making our Home Made Eggless Pasta, and our Home Made Zeffirino Pesto. And try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, and Orzo Pasta Salad with Spinach and Pine Nuts.

You might also like to read Why we Cook Pasta al dente.

Or browse all of our pasta recipes, and our Italian recipes. Or find inspiration as you explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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How to make Eggless Pasta | Semolina Pasta Dough, Besan Pasta Dough, Sesame flavoured Pasta/Noodles

Making pasta without eggs

Let’s be clear up front. No matter what other sites will tell you, it is not really possible in a home environment to produce the type of pasta that can made with eggs, or the commercially produced egg free pasta. We can make other pasta, however, that will good, and have a special taste and texture of their own.

I work with several different recipes for eggless pasta. One with semolina flour, one with besan, or chickpea flour, and one with both. Each gives quite a different result. It pays to experiment with each of them until you find a pasta noodle that you prefer. The third type has been my most successful and is my current favourite, so make sure that you check that one out below.

You are probably interested in some pasta recipes too. Try Hand Made Pesto (Zeffirino Pesto), Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

You might like to browse all of our pasta recipes. Or explore all of our Italian recipes. Or take some time to check out our beautiful Early Spring recipes.

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